I spent the morning working on the new spell 
for Sequence while monitering Beauty's progress with
mathematics.   Then in the afternoon, we both worked 
companionably for a while in the garden, and she 
managed to talk me into a trip to Foil sometime in the 
next few days.  This is no hardship, for I have had a 
desire to see my foster mother recently, and there is 
always business with Senlin.  
	My real mother finished her little reclamation 
project with the cousins;  I had some small doubts that 
she would not succeed in recovering the BrandUs child,
but she won through.  Flora attempted to dress me for 
dinner again, but I flatly refused to wear a skirt or a 
dress or some such nonsense, because I wanted to 
fence after dinner.  It was the first opportunity IUve 
had to practice with Bleys in a while.  I think in 
another few hundred years, I may be able to give him 
some slight challenge.  I tried to make it more 
interesting for him by suggesting he recite Hamlet 
during the match, but he scorned that and spake filthy
limericks in double time instead.  I was priviliged to 
witness a small scene of kindness between Bleys and
Cameron;  he loaned to his nephew Weirwindl,  an
action which I found to be most 
intriguing.  If I had not Sequence, I would be most 
covetous, for it is a beautiful sword.  I fenced with 
Kalyn for a time, and he was most courteous when 
Sequence spoke and asked him to repeat certain 
moves...  I was doubly pleased, first, by this kindness
in a cousin of Amber blood, and second, by the 
eagerness of Sequence to learn.  Kalyn outstripped me 
by quite a bit, of course, but that was expected.   I also 
had the chance to let Sequence do the fighting when I 
fenced with Cameron.  That was most educational, and 
I am pleased by the progress that the blade has made.

	After the fencing match, I went into the garden 
and dug mandrake by the light of the moon.  I am
concerned with the efficacy of this spell...   Mother 
hasnUt really commented on my motivations for 
working up a DNA recognition spell, but IUm sure she 
knows.  She has proved helpful in certain areas of my 
research, but I just take that to mean she is positive 
that the spell will not succeed.  Then I spent the rest 
of the night in the library reading up on the properties 
of mandrake.  Dawn came, and Rachel brought me 
breakfast, and I found that to activate the mandrake I 
would actually need a quantity of the dried root to put 
with the fresh.   
	Cousin Sandr came into the library just as I was
preparing to go into town, and he mentioned that he 
needed some more appropriate clothing in which to sit 
for his Trump portrait.  I told him a
little something of my first day in Castle Amber, for he 
looked a bit stunned and most unhappy, and offered to 
take him into the city to a good tailor I know of.   I 
went to the herbal shop across the street from the 
tailor, and found what I needed, and visited with the 
proprietor while I waited for Sandr.  I didn't think it 
would be appropriate to abandon him in the City when 
he had previously mentioned that he didnUt even know 
where the front door was...  That appeared to distress 
him quite a bit, actually. 
	 An odd thing he said to me, when I was 
explaining to him how Elizabeth had died in childbirth 
and I had adopted her daughter:  "I've never had any 
sorts of great tragedy in my life like that."  It gave me 
pause.  From the little I saw of his shadow during the 
Trump call I made to Mother and what I could see of 
Sandr with my own two eyes, I would say his life has 
been much harsher than mine.  I have a theory on 
that, of course.  I can look at my life and point out the 
"great tragedies" with ease; there are four in total.  I 
cannot look at it and point out the good things, for 
there are myriad numbers of those, big and little, that 
all blend into one whole of what I have come to 
recognize as a very good life.  I am certain that it is 
probably the opposite for Sandr and most of my 
relatives of Amberite blood, elders included.  At one
point I thought that it was an effect of growing up in 
Amber, but I think it has more to do with growing up 
with ANY KNOWLEDGE AT ALL of Amber....  It taints 
the mind.  Of course, that could just be my human half 
speaking.  If my other half is even human.